Food & Recipes

6 Surprising Foods You Can Cook in a Waffle Maker (Besides Waffles)

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Is there anything better than a waffle fresh off the griddle, with mini melted butter and maple syrup pools melting into each pocket? There might be. If you’ve never tried to make anything besides traditional Belgian waffles in your waffle maker, you’re in for a treat! International Waffle Day is coming up next month — on March 25th, to be exact — and we are ready. Not just for delicious waffles, but for the many other dishes you can make with a waffle iron.

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Can you cook other foods in a waffle maker?

In a word, yes. The real question is ‘how creative are you willing to get?’ If you want to start out small, try your hand at breads and pastries. For example, donuts and puff pastry are great things to put in a waffle iron, simply because they have a good amount of grease in the dough, which helps keep them crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. This texture combination is one of the main reasons people love using waffle irons to cook many different things. Another is that cooking time is reduced drastically when you’re using a waffle maker, because the item is pressed between very two hot surfaces at a high temperature.

Alternative ‘Waffle’ Recipes

If you’d like to get a bit more adventurous, you can use a waffle maker to cook the following:

  • Sweet potato fritters. Simply boil a sweet potato, mash it with an egg and whatever spices you’d like, place it in the waffle maker, and voila!
  • Baked apples. Core an apple, cut into slices of approximately a quarter inch, dust with cinnamon sugar if desired, grease your waffle iron with butter or cooking spray, and place a slice on each section of the waffle maker. Cook for one minute, and you’ll have a healthy dessert or snack.
  • Acorn squash. The maple syrup in this recipe will seep into the pockets just the way it does with a traditional waffle, but it’ll be healthy for you instead.
  • Mashed potatoes or hash browns. These work especially well in a mini waffle maker, because they become bite-sized, similar to waffle fries, but without the added fat.
  • Quesadillas. Fill tortillas with cheese and dust with a bit of oil before cooking. Afterward, garnish with sour cream, salsa, and guac.
  • Scrambled eggs. Waffle makers are especially useful for making egg sandwiches, because with your scramble all in one piece, you don’t have to worry about pieces of egg falling out of the side.

What is the best waffle maker to buy?

When shopping for a waffle maker, think about your counter space and your budget. You’ll want something small for an apartment with a tiny kitchen, like this super-cute, super-affordable yellow one from Holstein Housewares (Buy from Amazon, $15). If you’re feeding an army and have plenty of surface area to spare, consider a double waffle maker that can churn out eight waffles at a time, like this industrial-sized one (Buy from Amazon, $200).

Whether mini or mighty, a waffle maker is a wise investment — especially considering the many different dishes you can make with one!

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